There were a number of thoughtful and detailed responses to our You be the Grid Master Question for June on “band aid” life extension mechanisms. One commenter argued that band aid implies flimsy, but a careful reading of the question construct makes it clear that the question is seeking valid, but temporary life extension ideas when the budget will not support a full transmission line or substation replacement or upgrade. The writer was looking for responses such as monitoring at risk equipment with additional sensors, focused maintenance on potential problem areas, addition of FACTS, SVC, STATCOM or other mechanisms to increase capacity and efficiency and use of battery storage. Jasjit4u provided the response that best matched the desired answer. See comments below.
Q: Every utility planner has gotten this response at one point or another when she/he identifies what they believe to be an important, if not urgent, system improvement. The boss says “We don’t have the money to do a major overhaul. Identify some band aid solutions to get us to the next budget cycle.” As the average age of our critical electric infrastructure across the U.S. nears the 50-year mark, it is becoming ever more important to identify prudent measures that will extend the useful life of aging transmission and substation equipment long enough to budget and implement replacements and major overhauls. What are some methods for extending the useful life of aging transmission and substations?